Key Achievements and a Way Forward

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This virtual workshop highlights the accomplishments of USAID energy partners in Bangladesh, discusses lessons learned, and passes on recommendations and best practices that can be applied to future energy programs.

Bangladesh is on a trajectory to become a middle-income country and is striving to become a developed nation by 2041. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, forecasts pointed to increasing national demand for electricity resulting from economic and population growth. Transitioning to clean energy would allow Bangladesh to diversify its power mix, reduce the risks associated with the volatile prices of fossil fuels, and decrease the negative environmental impacts of thermal power generation.

On April 12, 2021, USAID hosted an event, “Key Achievements and a Way Forward” to discuss work done by programs in Bangladesh, including the Scaling Up Renewable Energy (SURE) program. The event promoted collaboration, learning, and identified opportunities for USAID energy programs to adapt using current and emerging best practices. The event included presentations and a panel discussion with technical experts from USAID/Bangladesh, Tetra Tech, the Sustainable and Renewable Energy Development Authority, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and Infrastructure Development Company Limited.

Below are insights from the virtual event:

  • Distribution utilities have achieved significant improvements, notably an eight percent reduction in system losses. However, the lack of cost-reflective tariffs has led to weak financial positions for these utilities, including an accumulated deficit for balanced power development and underinvestment in the sector. The GoB will need to invest in a strategy and action plan to support renewable energy in order for the country to reap the full social and economic benefits.
  • To meet international commitments and policy targets, Bangladesh will need approximately 31 gigawatts of installed renewable energy capacity by 2041. This will require an investment of about $30 billion between 2021 and 2041 and a renewable energy implementation action plan that should include renewable energy development goals with early targets.
  • Renewable energy’s inherent characteristics can affect the power system’s supply adequacy, the requirement for balancing services, and the need for grid infrastructure upgrades or extensions. Policymakers can use design solutions for system-friendly renewable energy procurement to reduce temporal mismatch, spatial mismatch, and variable renewable energy intermittency. System-friendly competitive procurement maximizes the value of variable renewable energy to the power system and considers this system in the award decision. Therefore, renewable energy projects are awarded not just to the lowest offer but to the lowest offer that also provides the best system integration component.

Photomontage of wind turbines in front of the flag of Bangladesh
USAID supported the Government of Bangladesh to enhance private sector engagement, energy security, competitive and transparent renewable energy procurement, and institutional capacity to integrate affordable renewable energy.
© Антон Медведев / Adobe Stock

USAID, through its Scaling Up Renewable Energy (SURE) program, supported the Government of Bangladesh to enhance private sector engagement, energy security, competitive and transparent renewable energy procurement, and institutional capacity to integrate affordable renewable energy.

Mother holding her son in nature. Wind turbines in the background.
Through the Scaling Up Renewable Energy program, USAID helps partner countries power economies with renewable energy, meet international climate commitments, and open markets to private investment and competition.
© Viktor Pravdica / Adobe Stock

USAID’s Scaling Up Renewable Energy (SURE) program helps partner countries meet bold climate commitments by accelerating their transition to more affordable, reliable, and accessible energy that spurs growth, powers health systems, and reduces emissions. Through SURE, USAID provides a variety of services to help policymakers, utilities, and regulators plan, procure, and integrate renewable energy, modernize energy sectors, and create policies that enable sustainable energy markets to flourish. As more countries aim to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 and reduce hazardous waste, SURE’s Innovation Fund supports clean energy technology, energy efficiency innovation, and a circular economy for renewable energy equipment.

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) are partnering to support clean, reliable, and affordable power in the developing world. The USAID-NREL Partnership helps countries with policy, planning, and deployment support for advanced energy technologies.

Video Transcript 
Assalamualaikum and good morning everyone this is Shayan Shafi I'm the energy team leader in USAID Bangladesh Mission. Thank you very much for joining today's workshop on Renewable Energy Development in Bangladesh: Key Achievements and Way Forward. We are still expecting a few more people to join but we will start in interest of time. Just before starting just wanted to give you housekeeping information about making sure you stay muted during the presentation and if you have any question during the webinar, which we really appreciate, if you have please type them in the chat box anytime during the webinar. We will also have a question answering session at the later part of this event so you can also ask your questions directly during that time. Otherwise please use the chat box to put in your questions. At this moment let me introduce Dr Muhammad N. Khan our Deputy Director Office of Economic Growth USAID Bangladesh. Dr. Khan joined USAID Bangladesh as the Deputy Director of the Office of Economic Growth Environment Energy and Enterprise team on January 1st 2021. He has more than 35 years of academic and professional experience in infrastructure, water resources, and environment, major disaster and climate resilience and institutional capacity building in the South, Southeast Asia, the Pacific Islands, the US, and the UK. Prior to joining USAID Dr Khan worked in academia and the private sector. He holds a bachelor two masters, and a PhD in civil and water resource and environmental engineering from the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology, the Imperial College in the UK, and the University of California in the US. So let me welcome Dr. Muhammad Khan. And Muhammad could you please provide the welcome remarks on behalf of USAID. Thank you. Thank you, Shayan and colleagues from the Government of Bangladesh, agencies private sector companies, development partners, and academia. Good morning and assalamualaikum. Thank you for joining the virtual event on Renewable Energy Development in Bangladesh Key Achievements and Way Forward. Bangladesh is on its trajectory to become a middle-income country and is striving to become a developed nation by 2041. Bangladesh's second prospective plan 2021 to '41 prepared by the General Economic Division of the Planning Commission forecasts that by 2041 the poverty rate would be dropped down to zero, gross domestic product will increase by nine point nine percent and per capita income will climb over twelve thousand dollars from slightly below two thousand at present. Such growth, such remarkable growth needs to be supported by energy security and universal access to affordable and reliable energy sources to fuel economic and social activities. USAID is working with the government of Bangladesh to realize its energy security and universal access goals through initiatives such as National Renewable Energy Laboratories Wind Power Capacity Building Scaling Up Renewable Energy program and National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners NARUC's assistance to Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission harnessing locally available renewable energy resources such as solar and wind is key to ensuring energy security and supporting Bangladesh's energy transition from fossil fuel to renewables. These naturally available resources have their challenges relating to their temporal and geospatial availability and integration with the grid in the past two years. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory NREL Wind Power Capacity Building and Scaling Up Renewable Energy programs supported the government of public stakeholders. Today we take this opportunity to share the learnings and findings with you all carry forward the recommendations in USAID's new energy sector initiatives the Bangladesh Advancing Development and Growth through Energy also known as BADGE and the Reinforcing Advanced Energy Systems (RAES). I hope you all have lively participation in the webinar and use the knowledge and momentum to advocate for renewable energy solutions. Thank you for joining again. Over to you Shayan. Thank you Muhammad for the welcome remarks. At this stage let me introduce you to two of our colleagues Carishma Gokhale-Welch the Technical Project Director from the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and Ritesh Kumar Singh a director at Tetra Tech Carishma Gokhale-Welch is a Technical Program Lead at the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory with nearly two decades of domestic and international experience. Our work focuses on clean energy planning and strategy in emerging markets. Carishma also supports U.S. army installations, power sector transformation activities in the Asia and North Africa and assists communities with energy transitions. She was educated at the University of Mumbai and at Yale University where she earned a Master's in Environmental Management and a Certificate in Financing and Deploying Clean Energy today. Carishma will be providing an overview of USAID's Wind Power Capacity Building Activity. Mr Ritesh Kumar Singh has more than 15 years of experience leading teams and managing donor funded projects on power sector reform and utility commercialization, working with clients such as USAID, ADB, MCC, USTDA and the World Bank and also with the private sector. He specializes in developing and implementing performance improvement strategies for utility sector reform and restructuring regulatory and policy advocacy, due diligence and transactions, renewable energy project development and smart grid initiatives. Today Mr. Ritesh Kumar Singh will provide an overview of the USAID's other program called the Scaling Up Renewable Energy activity. So without further ado let me give the floor to Carishma for providing an overview on the Wind Power Capacity Building activity. Over to you, Carishma. Thank you, Shayan and welcome everyone. It's a pleasure to be here So as Shayan said my name is Carishma Gokhale-Welch and I'll quickly provide an overview of the work NREL has been supporting in partnership with USAID. Next slide, please. So you know briefly NREL's mission is to advance the science and engineering of renewable power technologies, sustainable transportation, energy efficiency, and to provide the knowledge to integrate and optimize energy systems. So in partnership with USAID Bangladesh as it says here the top bullet NREL has been providing technical assistance to support the government of Bangladesh's goal of promoting wind development to stimulate private sector investment, rural economic development, and also to meet the growing energy demand through domestic energy resources. So the first step was to establish a baseline understanding of how much wind energy could be produced in Bangladesh. And so starting about a decade ago in 2011 NREL worked with in-country partners to install, operate and maintain state-of-the-art wind measurement systems at nine locations across Bangladesh. So really taking the first step toward developing the resource data infrastructure required to develop commercial utility scale wind projects as a result of the wind resource mapping project, the private sector has access to wind resource data transmission maps that can help accelerate project siting, for example and then also other land use data and analytical tools. The Government of Bangladesh can also use these same data and tools to help improve decision making for clean energy policy transmission planning and also to design competitive procurement processes and so we'll hear about all of these things in the following session. The work here resulted in a report that many of you are familiar with. It was titled assessing the wind energy potential in Bangladesh and as well it resulted in the development of publicly accessible wind energy data through the renewable energy data explorer tool which many of you are familiar with. So building on these results the USAID-NREL engagement look then to support key stakeholders with the technical capacity and knowledge to develop, integrate, and operate wind energy. So this, you know, what this looked like on the ground when we were able to travel and now remotely like we are talking today was more than a dozen webinars, workshops, roundtables focused on understanding data and tools available and sharing global best practices on developing renewable energy policy procurement and deployment. Like I mentioned my colleagues will talk more about these activities in the following session and so very briefly I'll say looking forward and Muhammad alluded to this we are excited to continue to work with our Government of Bangladesh, partners, and private sector stakeholders and continue to provide that world-class technical support to scale up and deploy advanced energy systems in Bangladesh through the Reinforcing Advanced Energy Systems program or RAES. And so we're currently in the process of soliciting this feedback from the Governor of Bangladesh stakeholders on the exact technical areas of collaboration but these activities will collaboratively be designed to improve the use of data-driven decision-making for energy policies and practices, improve the increase the adoption of best practices, and advanced approaches to energy planning and policy making and improve robustness of in-country analytical capabilities for decision-making. So with that I look forward to talking more about our work in the later session and I will hand the floor to my colleague Ritesh Kumar Singh. Thank you. Thank you, Carishma. Next slide please. Good morning all of you. The Scaling Up Renewable Energy project started in late 2019 in Bangladesh and we, through this program, USAID is trying to promote private sector engagement, competitive and transparent procurement systems, and streamlining institutional capacity in Bangladesh to produce affordable renewable energy and enhance energy security and independence. The SURE program in Bangladesh is hinged on three thematic areas: Integrated resource planning, grid integration and RE procurement and auctions. We had six basic tasks and in this project we have produced three white papers. The fourth one is already being prepared and would be released soon. You will all have access to the three white papers that have already been produced. The one on challenges to renewable energy development in Bangladesh, another on implementation action action plan for renewable energy, and a system friendly competitive procurement. The fourth white paper on power sector reforms would be available soon as well. My colleagues would talk about these three white papers that have been released and learnings and findings from those white papers in in the next session. Over the last one and a half year SURE program has collaborated intensely with NREL colleagues and together we have conducted two webinar series each with four different modules and we have been able to train over 250 people in Bangladesh during this COVID times. And since we could not travel, most of these trainings were done through webinar and we have engaged with more than 50 stakeholders including Government of Bangladesh, private sector, civil society, non-profit organizations, and academia. And you know this collaboration with NREL has created a lot of capacity in the people we have trained and the institutions we have worked with. To carry forward the Scaling Up Renewable Energy program and elements of this program forward in the future program that Muhammad talked about that would start soon in Bangladesh. With that, you know, I hand over the mic to Shayan. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you Carishma and Ritesh for your brief overview of the two programs. So colleagues, now that we have the overview of the two programs let us talk about a little bit in more detail and talk about the program outcomes of these two programs. So for the next 25 minutes we will be joined by four of our colleagues to go over the program outcomes from the Wind Power Capacity Building activity and Scaling Up Renewable Energy activity and let me introduce to you the four presenters who will be presenting on the next 20—in the next 25 minutes. So the first presenter will be Dr. Alam Hussein Mondal, the country coordinator for both of these two programs: NREL's Wind Power Capacity Building program and the Scaling Up Renewable Energy program. Dr. Alam has more than 20 years of energy sector experience, including energy security, regional energy trading, low carbon development strategies, sector reforms, and renewable energy technologies he has published. over 30 journal articles and two books related to energy sector development. He's a senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), International Association of Energy Economics (IAEE) and Association for Environmental Studies and Sciences. Our second presenter will be from the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory, a Senior Technical Lead, Mark D. Jacobson. Mark received a BSc degree in physics and an MBA with an emphasis in finance and marketing from Ball State University in the U.S. This career spanned a diverse energy background of leadership positions from energy efficiency program development, interconnection queue management, natural gas fire electric generation development, and utility scale wind energy development. Mark has been working with NREL since 2013 when he joined the NREL in his areas of expertise have been in international and domestic assistance programs. Currently he is a Senior Project Leader at NREL Golden, Colorado, USA. Our third presenter today will be Mr. Fabian Wigand, Associate Director from Guidehouse. Fabian has more than 12 years of experience in energy sector strategy, markets, and regulations. He's an expert in energy procurement and auctions and has been coordinating Guidehouse European energy procurement activities. He is leading Guidehouse and engagement on renewable energy auctions for the USAID's Scaling Up Renewable Energy and Clean Power Asia programs. He has advised the development institutions governments and investors on energy procurements in more than 20 countries. He holds a Masters of Science in International Political Economy from the London School of Economics. Finally the fourth presenter today will be again from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the Grid Integration Manager, Ms. Barbara is a Grid Integration Manager at NREL and she leads projects and engages with stakeholders to provide information on renewable energy integration practices, policies, regulations, and technologies. She has worked in many countries such as Tunisia, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Indonesia, Morocco, Chad, Kazakhstan, Vietnam, Mexico, and Colombia. Mrs. O'neill holds a BSc in Electrical Engineering from Pratt Institute and MS in Energy Management and Policy from University of Pennsylvania and Diploma in Petroleum Economics from the French Institute of Petroleum. With that let me hand it over to Dr. Alam Mondal to start his presentation for this session. Thank you. Good morning. Good morning everyone and thank you Shayan for giving me the opportunity to speak on de-risking the energy landscape in Bangladesh. I will provide summary outcomes from USAID SURE projects on the growth of Bangladesh power sector, challenges of renewable energy development, drivers to scale up renewable energy, proposed renewable energy development targets, and renewable energy development guidelines to meet the target. So next slide please. Over the last decade electricity demand had increased at rapid pace mostly solved by natural gas which is first depleting energy sources in Bangladesh and creating energy concern security concerns. System peak demand has increased by 10.7 percent and energy demand by 9.3 percent over the last decade. New generation capacity has added aggressively to the system while demand has not grown as anticipated. Installed capacity is almost 61 percent more than the demand in 2020 which indicates substantial over capacity. Gas-based generation is mainstream and meets most of the demand followed by liquid fuels and imports renewable contribution just 0.09 percent. Residential sector contributes is dominant consumer followed by the industrial and consumer. Industrial consumption share has fallen from 37 percent to 28 in the last decade due to aggressive electrification and added residential consumers. Next slide please. PSMP 2016 projections are aggressive and projected demand may not materialize. The current cap over capacity in the system will help meet demand even if new capacity additions from coal and imported LNG are delayed. There is rethink on coal based generation and new PSMP may propose a different generation mix for future. Distribution utilities have achieved significant improvements, notably the system losses have reduced to 8 percent, reliability indexes SAIDI and SAIFI has also shown improvements though there is a lot of variation from one utility to another. However, non-reflecting tariffs have led to weak financial position of these utilities. Accumulated deficit for balanced power development board and cost under investment in the sector. Next slide please. So renewable energy development in Bangladesh faces many constraints and it needs to jump a bit up to get benefits from renewable energy. Targets in Bangladesh government have either expired or looked into too far gaps between GHG emission reduction targets and renewable energy development targets. Government is committed but lack strategy on how to achieve its commitments and targets. Lack of institutional capacity, coordination between institutions — sorry — agencies concentrate more on off-grid or small scale renewable energy applications. Limited knowledge on renewable energy technologies and its benefits. Lack of experts with experiences large scale renewable energy projects. No standardized procurement for renewable energy, short time frames for bid submissions. Over 40 permits are required with long time frame for approval. Limited project implementation time for the developers, limited land, difficult to identify suitable land available land, but lack of infrastructure. Land acquisition is a bigger problem than availability. Land procurement process is lengthy and complex. Limited support to identify suitable land or renewable energy zones for projects, limited data and assessment on solar and wind potential, limited grid capacity and access, limited studies on renewable energy grid integration and stability, no grid network plan based on renewable energy projects, stringent grid code requirements like 20 percent of captive power, lack of experience in funding for large scale renewable projects. Commercial lenders mostly experience with capacity charges. Utility scale renewable projects do not meet current eligibility criteria for financing. Difficulties on equity investors for existing projects. So next slide is, so you see while renewable energy development faces challenges there are strong drivers for Bangladesh to aggressively scale up renewable energy. Energy security, one of the key divers, limited natural gas reserves, and increases dependence on imported fossil fuels for power generation. So to improve energy security it needs to minimize import dependence on fossil fuels and optimum use of renewable energy sources for power generation. Bangladesh is committed to reduce GHG emission by five percent by 2030 in its NDCs and 15 reduction by 2030 with international support. This is a strong driver to scale up renewable energy generation. Bangladesh still has a renewable energy policy and excellent potential of renewable energy: solar PV as big as 240 gigawatt and wind 150 gigawatt. Cost of renewable energy declines significantly and competitive price global investment in renewable energy is very high. Independent power producer are available in the market for conventional power generation and interested in renewable energy projects. So our assessment indicates that to meet international commitment and policy targets, Bangladesh will need about 31 gigawatt of installed renewable energy capacity by 2041 and investment required about 30 billion U.S. dollar between 2021 and 2041. So next slide please. Yes, thanks. So to meet the policy targets and international commitments to get 31 gigawatt of renewables by 2041, Bangladesh needs a renewable energy implementation action plan that should include a renewable energy development goal with early targets. It should be a short-term plan– implementation plan to meet early targets. The plan should be short-term to long-term. Renewable energy potential assessment – Dr Alam, just a quick time check if you could wrap up in one minute that would be great. Thank you. Okay sure. I'm done. So renewable energy potential and renewable zones identification by midterm period with a short-term period renewable energy policy needs to confirm establishment of grid expansion on identified renewable zones by mid or to long-term period. Grid capacity and stability studies are required to complete by 2030. Action plans to promote renewable energy storage technologies also required renewable energy projects target by public sector and private sector to be identified. And confirmed standard procurement needs to ensure in the short-term period, gradually phase out subsidies and implementation of cost reflective tariff needs to ensure and strong support required in the short to mid-term period for commercial financial and developers to direct renewable energy projects in Bangladesh. Next slide please. Thank you. So as already it has mentioned that three white papers are already publicly available is published. So one of them is renewable energy development challenges, renewable energy system procurement friendly procurement, and recommendation or renewable energy implementation. You can find in the given links. Thank you so much Shayan. Over to Mark Jacobson. Thank you. Thank you all. Thank you USAID and the SURE team. We've developed a good working relationship over the years and and we continue to work together to support GoB's energy goals. I appreciate the opportunity to speak to you today on wind energy development and summarize the program activities that are supporting and promoting renewable energy development in Bangladesh. Next slide. So this is a slide that I like to always talk about with regards to the energy challenges, but Dr. Khan and Dr. Alam both already identified these challenges in more detail. So I think we'll just skip this slide, move on to the next. Thank you. For those that might have seen me present before, I frequently have this slide show up in almost all my presentations because I think when talking about development you're really talking about risk. You're understanding all the individual risks that exist in project development and then you're trying to develop mitigation strategies to de-risk. Not absolutely absolutely eliminate risk but to reduce the risk in each one of these buckets. And of course the more risk that you have the more costly the project and sometimes you can –the project can fail if it's too risky. Next slide. So Carishma talked a little bit about this. Just quickly recapping our previous work in this area focused early on the risk of resource: what is, how can you quantify what the resource is– whether it's wind or solar–and how do you evaluate that resource? So we started about 10 years ago. I think Carishma referenced a decade ago. I think that's accurate where we spent three years putting up nine meteorological sites measuring wind speed at hub height using these observations to validate a state-of-the-art wind model. And now there is a strong renewable energy resource data set and information in Bangladesh where there wasn't seven years ago but now there is. So that is a strength with regards to a development in Bangladesh because we have a one site–excuse me–data that is able to be used for for wind development and it's trustworthy. Additionally it is important to: how do you use that data? How will developers and planners and policymakers use the data? We developed a tool for just that and if you move on to the next slide. This is just a quick screenshot of the renewable energy data explorer. We continue to promote that in almost every presentation. That, again, is a great tool for developers where you can get access to that data and it also allows you to graphically view the resource data with infrastructure data and that's really helpful in identifying potential sites within the country. You can look at the country as a whole. You can look at the potential renewable potential of an individual province or you can zero in on a three kilometer basis and look at individual sites. If you haven't looked at this tool for a while or just say, "Hey it was part of the presentation a couple years ago!", we're making modifications to this tool multiple times a year. So if you haven't checked it out in a while, I encourage you to do so. Next slide. So there's just a summary of some of the program outcomes of this early work and really was there to demonstrate that there was a market, there was market potential for wind when evaluating the wind speeds i.e the resource. And looking at the new technology, the new power curves that are out there in the market for low wind speed sites so of course construction costs will be a big unknown variable when identifying the cost of installing a project but looking at the wind speed as it relates to technology there's definitely potential in Bangladesh. Next slide. So looking forward, our work continues as our team provides capacity building in areas of understanding how to evaluate wind data, how to use the the renewable energy data explorer tool in development, what are the steps of development and how do they fit together, what are the new technologies in 2021 and beyond, what are the best practices in procurement, how to develop a bankable project. Other technical support that we have provided are continuing to provide are developing reference and guidance documents or supporting the government as they are developing some of these guidance documents where the goal is to try to pull all this information together and one reference location that helps with, again, developers, planners, and policy makers put all together in one location. Next slide please. So I present this slide a couple of times before too, or versions of it but it's a great way to demonstrate the interdependence of all three legs of development. And again I harken back to one of my first slides where I talked about risk. So think about each one of these legs as identifying risk buckets and sub buckets of risk. A misunderstanding or lack of attention to detail applied to any one of these legs will introduce more project risk. You'll hear that word a lot and the stool will tip over. I like to use the three legged milking stool. Of course with what that means, when the stool tips over you've got a project that is either going to be too costly or it might fail altogether. So it's important to understand these three legs. You know understanding the market and I use that in a broad term. It's understanding the customers and different buyers. There's corporate buyers nowadays where before it was just utilities. Now if you look across the world corporate buyers are also buying some land in solar energy. Understand the drivers of the market, understand transmission, their connection process, understanding the resources. We talked about, we've got good resource data. Now let's understand how to use it. Land of course is always a key understanding: the landowner profile, environmentally sensitive areas, how to permit a project, and different acquisition and legal contractual strategies. As you're working with land and local authorities to permit a project and get your construction permit. Next slide. Mark, just again, check if you could wrap it in two minutes, that would be great. Thank you. Good! I'm on the two minute path. Thank you, Shayan. I appreciate it. And then this slide here, this one, the key takeaway. It's a conversation that we have in almost every new group that we meet. It's understanding how technology has really increased and improved and for conclusions about market and the cost of wind. Looking at information from 15 years ago, just not applicable anymore. The turbines are taller, the blades are longer, the actual electronics inside the turbine itself allows for more energy at lower wind speed sites. So it's important to match that wind speed–excuse me–match that turbine to the wind speed of your site and that's something that is a takeaway that we're pushing and promoting it during every presentation. Next slide. And then lastly this is my last slide. It's important that we provide technical support in a lot of these areas. I mentioned it before that we're looking to kind of pull this together into one reference location. So the technical support we've provided in the past and we'll continue to provide is developing kind of one-stop service where it's kind of morphed into supporting the government's guidance onshore wind power project installation guideline document that's in draft form right now, but they're looking to launch that soon. That's covering areas like site selection, turbine type, good connectivity, monitoring of performance, decommissioning plans at the end of a 20-year power contract and also working with the community and developing that community development plan up front so all these areas are being covered. We're here ready to to provide support and best practices as we've worked with many communities many countries that have successfully installed projects and and we've identified some areas where they're there's been some gaps and so we can teach these lessons learned. With that I think I'll wrap up for the next speaker. Next slide. I'll just kind of finish on the next slide that we look forward to continuing to support Government of Bangladesh and we can't wait to see multiple wind farms operating throughout the country. Fabian, I guess is next. Thank you very much, Mark. And yeah very happy to speak to you today on the most important innovative procurement trends we see worldwide and when it's about integrating group energy into the system. If you go to the next slide you can see that this presentation is based on white paper that we published end of last year on system-friendly renewable energy procurement in Bangladesh and then we presented design options for system-friendly procurement and assess the applicability of these innovative solutions to Bangladesh. What is system-friendly renewable energy procurement all about? It's about delivering global energy when and where it is needed and about reducing system integration cost. So in the end, system-friendly competitive procurement maximizes the value of the variable renewable energy to the system and considers this system in the award decision. Therefore projects are not just given to only the cheapest offerer but to the offer that is providing the cheapest offer with the best system integration component. If you go to the next slide you can see why this is so relevant right now in Bangladesh. So as Dr. Alam already presented earlier, we see that there could of really interesting shifts currently happening in the power sector in Bangladesh. One of them is that renewable energy in Bangladesh would bring a number of advantages. It would diversify the power mix in Bangladesh reduce risks associated with volatile prices of fossil fuels and reduce negative environmental impacts of thermal power generation. However Bangladesh is also facing a couple of challenges right now in the operational integration of these thermal energy systems. So on the one hand variable energy projects often based at remote locations further away from grid or road infrastructure, we can see that often there is limited land availability for project development and there are issues with frequency stabilization while that of course with the COVID-19 crisis and certain uncertainty on how power demand will evolve, we can see that there is an increasing need for capacity to power peak demand and that therefore is a great need to have dispatchable renewable energy that can reliably deliver power during the peak periods. If you go on the next slide let's deep dive into two of the challenges mentioned. So the first challenge, we can call it the timing challenge. This is the temporal mismatch of renewables generation and demand patterns. This can–such a mismatch between the daily peak demand and supply can lead to load shedding that can be if and we see that potentially these demand and peak loads will further increase in the future as the intermittency of renewable generation increases. There's also greater need for the system to be more flexible in the form of reserve and residual load following and there can be some challenges in managing frequency control. The second challenge we call it the location challenge. This is the spatial mismatch of renewables generation demand centers. So such a spatial mismatch between demand centers and utility scale renewable energy projects or maybe in remote areas where the resources are best and they lead to several challenges in terms of good integration and we can see that currently the current grid expansion plans do not always sufficiently consider the integration of renewables projects into the system and their cost. Luckily there are a couple of solutions and we can learn from worldwide and I will present you some which are most relevant for the case of Bangladesh. So let's look at the first design solution on how to have renewables friendly procurement design in Bangladesh and that's on the next slide. It is the time based incentive and penalties idea. In that case we basically have a price adjustment factor that reward generation at specific times of the day or year. So if you produce time and power at times when it is most needed, for example during the peak time, you will actually get a bonus you'll get a higher price for that power. An alternative is that the auctioning authority is actually auctioning several supply blocks. So in that case as the producer can decide whether they provide power for example to noon, or during evening times, during night times, during all of the times, and then thereby the producers a promise by receiving award–promise that they will produce power during this time and therefore they bid into several intervals. So you can see both of these elements in the end have the same function. They incentivize power being produced during times when it's most needed and this can also be introduced in Bangladesh. So in recommendation you would be to consider a tariff adjustment or supply blocks to promote a more dispatchable supply and this–to basically set this, you have to, as the distribution utility, as the regulator, as the utilities, you have to have good information on how your power demand is right now. So basically you have to have a good idea, good insights on the current and hourly load patterns but you also have to know how this load patterns will evolve over time. You have to make an estimate on the coming years and then auction on this base of this estimate. You can also make sure that there are current and expected availability of generation capacity and the daily and seasonal duration patterns are taken into account and based on that you can then basically ensure that you can compensate and power that is produced during certain times when you need it most better. You can see this is applied all around the world in Mexico, Abu Dhabi and Chile for example. In these countries where particularly often have a strong variation of the renewable generation and the time is actually needed. If you go to the next slide you can see–Yes please, probably on a quick time check if you could wrap up in two minutes. Thank you. Thank you. The second interesting design solution is the design solution of location signals. That means you basically place a renewables plans at the location where it's best suited from a resource but also from a grid point of view that is already being done in Bangladesh. Compared to many other countries which is I think–and as you have strong constraints in terms of land and grid in Bangladesh, that's a very positive thing and however, we suggest that these sites could be even better predeveloped by the government with more data and available to the bidders. So when they provide a bid they can base this bid on an informed decision. And then the last slide, this is the third design solution. It's the idea of physical hybrids. So there you basically have a co-location of plans at the same location of different technologies. So for example you could have a PV plus wind hybrid plant. What is the advantage of these plants? They enable the offsetting of technology-specific intermittencies of variable renewable energy because PV and wind farms might generate power during different times. So overall you have a more stable power production and they also ensure that there's a more efficient use of land of transmission capacity because these plants–by being co-located they basically also reduce the amount of land you need and the system integration costs. India for example has recently had a couple of really exciting hybrid auctions both for solar and wind but also for all renewable energy plus storage with very competitive prices. And the recommendation for Bangladesh is to explore the potential of such auctions, particularly the solar wind hybrid contacts further. So in that case you could, for example, you could identify sites where both good wind and solar resources overlap. For example in the southern eastern regions and you have to think about design elements where you ensure that you take the characteristics of these technologies into account in the auction design. That's it so far. Thank you very much and yeah you find more information or more resources on that. We have an entire USAID Renewable Energy Auction Toolkit with many best practices from all around the world. We invite you to visit their website and otherwise head over to Barbara. Thank you. Thank you, Fabian. Okay I know we want to probably make up some time, so I'll try to be quick. Thanks for the introduction earlier Shayan and everyone for doing such great jobs at putting a lot of information into a small amount of time. So I just want to go now into okay well what's next? You know we have such great wind data and wind focus. We've learned about procurement. We've kind of dug in to do a gap assessment of what the different studies are saying in Bangladesh and where the policy might needs to go. I'm going to talk about, you know, once you start really building up that wind and solar power, what you might need in terms of integration. And one of the things we did was we provided some webinar workshops last year to help with the capacity building as others have referenced. So we did do one on integration in December. So if you want to access the full recording we can provide you with that resource. Next slide please. Some of the highlights, though you know. First thing I want to know and of course this is why we're having the conversation, right? Not only does the world want cleaner energy and want to reduce greenhouse gas emissions but it's just more economic to do so than it ever has been. You can see of course wind and solar prices falling and not shown here are the other prices of batteries of utility scale batteries which are falling also and you know it's a great time to access these cheaper resources for their attributes as well as for the diversity that they bring and not like the local economic development of course. Next slide please. So again this might be review for some of you but just in case it's not, when you look at this curve. So this is a week of a utility demand curve. So the yellow shows, you know, many utilities have sort of a double peak during the course of the day and what you do is you really dispatch wind and solar first. Why? Because the incremental cost of that power is very close to zero and so the green in this graph represents variable generation such as wind in this case. But it could be solar as well and so you sort of naturally dispatch that first and net it out or subtract it out of that yellow curve to provide the sort of brownish orange curve and we call that the net load curve. So the attributes with that new net load curve are these sort of steeper ramps and peakier shorter peaks and lower turn downs. So in order to accommodate the increased variability it's great to have flexible resources and resources that can really, you know, work within that parameter. Like first, we're going to dispatch the clean and the cheap power and then we're going to figure out what to do when we, you know, the sun's not shining when it's not blowing, that sort of thing. And there are many solutions to that. It's not the obvious ones usually. Next slide please. So this is just sort of an indicative depiction of some of the categories that you can use for increasing the flexibility on the system. You'll notice on the y-axis we have the the cost. So these are again just relative to each other but some of the things that can be implemented are more institutional and more sort of changing the procedures and the protocols the way things are done instead of, say investing large amounts of capital into a change in infrastructure, you want to really optimize the reserves on the system because you want to minimize the fuel burned. That's what's expensive, right? So you certainly have to have some backup units if you have thermal assets that can be spinning. If something changes with the output of some of your wind or solar plants or others but you want to have a good forecast for what those plants are going to be producing, what the load is going to be doing. That's just one example you can also change the time interval between commitment and dispatch to get that to be more akin to that sort of peakier net load curve that we described earlier. So there's lots of things you'll notice up in the top right. Chemical storage, so i.e. batteries I mean, it still is quite expensive relative to some of these other things, some of the things that we suggest have to do with grid modernization which have other benefits too and are not just to accommodate increased variable generation. Some of them are, you know, sort of helpful. For example markets, I mean, markets are great for for valuing attributes of provisions. Next slide please. Here's a whole pie like we talk a lot about the planning cycle and that's what we're trying to do here is help with respect to that. But there's a lot of other aspects that can be embraced for this new paradigm of a cleaner energy portfolio and markets I just alluded to is one where, you know, having various products as it were for providing different time frames of energy provisions, say different durations or different increases, how fast they can increase or even demand response like looking at the demand side of the equation and saying where can we intend to incentivize a user to use less when necessary? That's a great way to kind of modernize and make your system more efficient. We want to, you know, probably talk about pretty much. We want to use the best practices with respect to that and with operations. And then on the retail side of course we want to have the the energy be reflected as a cost of services so the rate should be that cost of service and there should be sort of a variety of rates that make the most sense for different classes of users and to reward them for, you know, what they do with respect to energy efficiency for example. So all of these should be embraced with some understanding that it might make sense to change. Next slide please. Hi Barbara! Again, you have two more minutes if you could wrap it up in two minutes. No problem, Shayan. Thanks so much. So if it seems daunting, right, to increase sort of the wind and solar power. I give you an example here of different systems that don't have the ability to exchange with neighbors because that's, you know, makes it easier for a country like Denmark to go to 100 wind because, you know, they're right next to Scandinavia and have all of Europe. But look at, look at the size of Bangladesh system and we're just going to jump to the sort of the bottom scale. It's a logarithmic scale but you know somewhere between Ireland and ERCOT you're looking at a Bangladesh size system and we've got these examples. These leaders that are gone before you that are running at, you know, say 20 some percent annual generation of wind and solar and then can hit instantaneous penetrations of 55 65. So it can be done, it just — it takes, you know, changing some practices. Next slide please. So we recommend doing grid integration so that we've suggested a number of different types of technical assistance that we were stand prepared to help Bangladesh with, as Carishma alluded to and one of them is, you know, a grid integration study. We call it but basically a planning study to look at what happens operationally to the system when you change the different dispatch amounts and this shows the sun, you know, moving across the U.S. and what it does to the exchange between our regions and the U.S. Next slide please and here is India and you can hit play for me, Daniel. Thanks. And you know again like this goes through the dispatch stack and you can see the yellow with the sun rising increased solar and the sun sort of coming up over India and what it does to the different generation profiles. So something like that might be useful to have a real good visualization of the outputs of some of these wonderful studies and I think that's it. Next slide please. Thank you guys so much. Looking forward to the discussion. Great, thank you very much. Thank you Mark, Barbara, Fabian, and Dr. Alam for the presentation. There's a lot to consume. We understand but there will also be a technical panel discussion after a five-minute break now and then when we return we'll have a more in-depth discussion on a few technical issues as we have discussed today and then we'll also have a question answering session where the audience will have the opportunity to ask questions to the panel members, but at the same time questions to any of the presenters that presented today. So with that let us break for five minutes and we'll get back with the technical planning session. Thank you. So, good morning everyone. Thank you for staying with us and thank you for your interest. So this is Alam Mondal again and I am the country coordinator USAID-NREL and SURE programs. I will be with you for about 50 minutes. So we'll have a panel discussion— technical panel discussion lessons learned from USAID Wind Power Capacity Development activity by National Renewable Energy Laboratory and USAID Scaling Up Renewable Energy program by Tetra Tech and way forward. So there is a discussion about 40 minutes then I will take the audience question and in the question and answer sessions after this discussion, so you all are requested to send your question in the chat box or you directly can ask your question to the panelist during the Q and A session. So we have been listening talks related to advanced energy system for Bangladesh renewable energy development challenges, wind energy development, system-friendly renewable energy procurement, and the recommendation for renewable energy implementation plan for Bangladesh. So you would like to discuss now and get insight into the implications of renewable energy technologies for power generation. We will focus on what we have achieved and learned, where we are now on scaling up renewable energy in Bangladesh and what we expect to see the future of energy sector and contributes from renewable energy in Bangladesh. So we have five panel members from diverse organizations and experience in the field of energy. So we have Shayan Shafi, Energy Team Leader USAID Bangladesh. Shayan Shafi is a passionate and skilled energy practitioner with 12 years of experience in the energy sector of Bangladesh. As the Senior Energy Advisor at USAID Bbangladesh, he leads and manages USAID's energy programming in Bangladesh. Shayan has a BSc in Mechanical Engineering and MSc in Renewable Energy Technology and MBA in finance. He is also a certified Project Management Professional. Shayan advises the USAID mission management on all matters pertaining to programs, projects, or activities in bilateral and regional energy programs, energy regulatory reform, and market development. We have Tanvir Masud from Sustainable and Renewable Energy Development Authority (SREDA) is the Assistant Director Wind and Others. At SREDA he is involved in wind resource assessment, feasibility studies, project planning, and designing policy making and consultations. He received his BSc degree in mechanical engineering from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology in 2012 and currently pursuing an MSc degree in technology management in which he was the member of the champion team of Workplace Innovation Competition arranged by BPRC. So we have another team members. So Hassan Muhaiminul Aziz, Manager Renewable Energy IDCOL, Infrastructure Development Company Limited. Hassan is an electrical engineer with nine years of experience in renewable energy sector of Bangladesh, operate electrification, industrial rooftop solar, grid integrated solar are his field of expertise. He has completed his MSc in electrical and electronic engineering and currently working as a Manager Renewable Energy where rooftop projects, technical feasibility, strategy design, verification and technical monitoring are the major responsibility. So we have two more panel members is Carishma Gokhale-Welch, Technical Project Lead and then already introduced by Shayan Shafi and the Director of Utility Management Tetra Tech. So we'll start the discussion and the request all panel members, so you will get like maximum four minutes for a question or for a topic to answer so then we need to close by 40 minutes and we will be ready for the question and audience answer sessions. So now I will go directly to Shayan Shafi. I want to know more about USAID's support on renewable energy and want to ask directly a question to Shayan Shafi as the SURE and Wind Power Capacity Building activities wrap up soon. Could you please tell us about USAID's next step of energy activities in Bangladesh. Shayan, over to you. Thank you. I think this is a very interesting question. I guess to everyone who are present here and I would also like to take the opportunity to inform the audience about our planning in terms of a new set of energy interventions in Bangladesh. So as we all know by now about this, today's event—the idea is to showcase the good work that two of our existing activities. They completed the Scaling Up Renewable Energy program and also the Wind Power Capacity Building program but we also would like the audience to leave with this positive note that very soon we are also going to launch two set of new activities in USAID—from USAID Bangladesh as these two projects wrap up this end of this month. We will have two more coming online very shortly. One is actually already awarded as Carishma in our earlier remarks mentioned. We are actually launching a phase three of NREL, of our assistance with the U.S. National Renewable Energy Lab. I think everyone— most of us—are aware the first phase was actually helping the government do the first ever nationwide wind resource assessment. That was our phase one worked with NREL. The second phase which this Wind Power Capacity Building program is all about, looks into the market development and identification of market barriers when it comes to wind power development in Bangladesh. That is ongoing and and soon to be closing but the third phase which we are terming has as Reinforced Advanced Energy Systems (RAES) program, RAES program will look into beyond wind energy, will not only confine itself to wind energy it will actually have other renewable energy resources to look at. So we are very excited to again continue our partnership with NREL and actually go beyond just wind energy. We will definitely continue our work to make sure that Bangladesh is well equipped when it comes to wind power development, market development, but at the same time we will go beyond wind energy and look into other advanced energy systems and solutions, including solar, EVs (electric vehicles), battery storage, and other advanced energy systems. So that's one program. The other program that we are also having very soon is called the Bangladesh Advancing Development and Growth through Energy, the BADGE program. This will be our flagship, new flagship five-year energy activity. It is currently in the procurement stage but we are hopeful that this will be launched and awarded very soon. BADGE will be about a 17 million dollar activity which will have a five-year life lifetime and it will look at—you will have the option to look at an array of clean energy sector issues, but primarily if we want to break it down into four streams: there will be a workstream looking into creating a more enabling environment to update advanced energy technologies, clean energy solutions, energy efficiency measures, and so forth; the second workstream will look into helping the energy institutions to become high performing. So getting energy more efficient in both financially and operationally and by energy institutions, we we mean energy utilities and also the energy regulators. The third work stream will look into transparent and best value energy procurement. So going into the market segment the reality when it comes to market barriers and risks. So we will have a component to look at, address the market barriers and introduce transparent and market driven energy procurement systems. Then the fourth component we hope to have increased participation in regional energy trade. So just not limiting itself—ourselves—with the Bangladesh borders, but going beyond the Bangladesh borders and helping the government of Bangladesh to facilitate participation in regional energy. So BADGE and RAES will be the two upcoming energy activities as this current two programs. Thank you. Thank you, Shayan. Very thoughtful and also glad to know the U.S. government stand for promotion of renewable energy and overall energy sectors in Bangladesh. Thanks. So there are many solicited and unsolicited large scale solar PV projects and few wind projects are in under construction and under planning for implementation. So it would be good to know the government's renewable energy procurement plan for next few years. So I'm going to Tanvir Masud. So a specific question to Tanvir: when will be the next RFP come out for wind or solar? Is there a planned RFP schedule over the next five years to reach Bangladesh renewable energy goals? So please. Thank you, Sir. I hope first of all welcome to everyone and I hope I am audible to everyone. Sir the question is very much relative to the sector? When I was actually listening your question it's pretty tough to tell the schedule, because right now we are in the— if we divide for a technology transformation, we are in the very initial stages for the solar and wind energy. In solar energy our prospect is much better and the performance much better than before. The price/feed-in tariff is in a very—right now— is an acceptable stage, but for wind energy we are continuous struggling till now, but I think it will be covered up within next three or four years. Because SREDA is a very new organization who is supporting renewable energy through power division for last five or six years. But still this is a very primary stage of SREDA. So power division, right now I would like to say differentiating solar and wind— for solar you may know that all of us know that there are many PPAs signed previously, but some of the projects are coming up to the grid. That's a good sign they could manage the land and also the tariff was good. The technology is now very much advanced so the solar technology is kind of booming, and also the solar net metering system is also a promising thing for us. But for wind energy we have—we are moving forward by step by step. I would like to inform everyone that SREDA has formulated a wind energy installation guideline working with different development partners. We have also consulted with USAID and we have got support from them also and then their feedback. This guideline, actually we have tried to formulate because for solar energy when it started its journey there was no specific guideline. So the investors coming up there, they were kind of—they did not know where to go and how to arrange the land and where to take the permission. But in this wind energy guideline, we are trying to facilitate them. We will try to build and help desk for wind energy so that any investors coming here they can come to SREDA directly and we might not be able to reduce all of their efforts. But if we can even start a help desk and reduce their effort of collecting seven or eight analysis from different organization, that can be a good facilitation to them also. So that is our primary goal and also to give them directives so that in future after installation of a project they should not face any problem from the local authorities or local peoples. So these cumulative guidelines will help them through. So about the RFP schedule, I would like to say that right now there is no such type of schedule rather we are trying to follow different successful model of different countries, like in India for wind energy and solar energy, they're in plug-and-play module. So this is where we are working in Kushtia model solar park and for wind also we will try to take this type of project where investors will easily come and install their technologies and sell the power to the government. In this way I think the effort— the risk of the project will be very much reduced and also the government will facilitate them in a way so that foreign investors can easily come to us and the feed-in tariff goes low. So over ultimately at the end of the day, our people from Bangladesh will be beneficial. So that's all from my side. Thank you, Sir. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you so much, Tanvir. Very good. I'm glad to know that government initiative—a lot of initiatives actually have already taken. So we'll talk again more on at the end. So actually we have learned about the challenges on renewable energy development. One of the challenges is finance. So lack of experience we found, like of financing organizations or large scale renewable energy projects, and related to finance. So the question now directly to Hassan M. Aziz. So who is from IDCOL, Infrastructure Development Company. So please tell us, Hassan. Finding opportunities that IDCOL can provide and specifically, question to you: what is the top five, one, or two issues that prevent developers from accessing your funds or makes the terms and conditions unfavorable? And how they mitigate these issues— they can mitigate the issues? So over to Hassan. Could you please explain a little bit and answer the question? Thank you Alam. I hope I'm audible. And good afternoon, good morning to everyone. So here. I want to actually divide the two things that is, it is hard for them to get the financing. So first, that what I want to target the market first that is they actually don't know—in some cases they don't know actually where the project is feasible or not. That is the one thing. If the project is feasible, then the finances is coming on picture. So here from the equal side we want to emphasize the both things that is— we actually sensitize the whole market and give them the confidence on the renewable energy and this technology. Because still, we facing one problem that is still the people are thinking that renewable energy is just to light up some lamps or security lights or something. Renewable energy— system integration, how the system integration will be. There is a loss of—lack of knowledge. So after that I'm coming to the financing. For the financing, that is—first that is the still I will say that, is we still didn't reach that much people, that much industries still for this financing. So we have to do the marketing stuff for this financing and stuff more and more, that people know that this kind of concessionary financing is available from the government side. And a few also, the scheduled banks are not yet confident to do the financing renewable energy. That is the main hurdle and but from the equal side, we are producing the concentration financing. for this kind of intervention, but still lots of people don't know that this kind of financing is available for them. This is the one thing and another thing is that the documentation. So in some cases we find that is, as in on (inaudible), the government, we have to follow the all rules and regulation of the Bangladesh bank. So sometimes it is, we find it's pretty hard for them to document, finalize the documentation and complete the documentation with all kinds of document. They have and all due diligence that is another hurdle for them. And third I want to tell the securities because our from the equal perspective our financing is not a non-recourse financing for this kind of intervention. So we need some (inaudible). So for the rooftop solar we find that is sometimes it is pretty hard for realizing this kind of securities for them. But in the grid-tied project we are offering some non-record financing or very limited resource financing. So in that case it is pretty fine but in rooftop solar we found that is the securities is sometimes this problem because they can't realize it or they have to give the merging or the securities, the expense is much more case to case or the company, it varies the bank expenses. So these are—I think—these are the main hurdles for getting the finance. But definitely we need to work for the mitigation process. I want to highlight the thing that is we need to do: more knowledge transfer thing we need to do, more workshop and we need to reach more people, more industries to let them know that the financing is available for them and what is the thing and it all is working hard—we are working hard for giving them the good chance to get the finance and make it easy for them as much as possible. So this is the mitigation process and for the securities I think definitely this is in some cases it is—we have also one thing we did that we have reduced a bit our interest rate to adjust the security expenses. But still that is—sometimes we see that it is very hard for realizing this but we are trying and we are working on that to mitigate that issue also. So these are from my side. Thank you. Yeah, thank you. Awesome thank you very. Very thoughtful and very good. Thank you so much, Hassan. So now we have been listening about the USAID's existing and future projects and status renewable energy development, IDCOL financial opportunities. So we all know that NREL's wind energy assessment study that created a foundation to move on so far large scale wind or generation in Bangladesh. Now moving to Carishma Gokhale-Welch to know more about NREL's plan to contribute on renewable energy sectors in Bangladesh. I want to a specific question to Carishma: how does NREL plan to continue supporting Bangladesh clean energy and climate calls? Over to you, Carishma. Thank you Dr. Alam. You know I think Shayan articulated outlined some of these activities but through the Reinforcing Advanced Energy System program NREL will continue to build on the data, the knowledge, the tools we just heard from our panelists here, you know, sort of the need to partner together for capacity building opportunities and so we'll certainly be building on all of this, you know, the base we've created through the USAID-NREL partnership in Bangladesh. We're currently working to finalize the exact scope with our stakeholders but, you know, very likely will continue to support say renewable energy procurement activities. I anticipate, perhaps progressing from, you know, the technical assistance on improved data and tools that we've been providing to perhaps moving further to the implementation and deployment activities. I'm very interested to see the chat actually and a lot of talk about renewable energy development and economic zones and just the REZ process it's another exciting potential opportunity which of course requires an integrated approach that leverages, you know, public sector capital and provides opportunities for private sector investment. So that looks to be a good opportunity grid modernization and power system flexibility I think will also continue to be important topics, including thinking about ways we can build a modern grid that is secure, resilient, and reliable to both man-made and natural hazards in Bangladesh. And then again Shayan alluded to a couple of these topics, but other emerging topics of interest include distribution— distributed energy resources including electrical mobility, storage, energy efficiency, and demand response and then also cross-border electricity trade and cooperation. So just outlining some of the topics but really looking forward to discussing further with this group. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you, Carishma. Thank you so much. So I'm not wait, directly going to Ritesh Kumar Singh. Because let's look on the global perspective and investment trend in renewable energy development, key drivers and common mistakes we do to scale up renewable energy. So question to Ritesh Kumar Singh, from your global perspective what are the biggest mistakes utilities can make when setting up or administering an RFP process and why? So over to you, Ritesh. Thank you. Thank you Dr. Alam. This is very interesting question and parts of this question have been, you know, addressed by Tanvir and Hassan as well. So you know when we look at development of renewable energy in different countries and how they, you know, the whole competitive process has been administered we see that, you know, you talked about this procurement plan and then we also opened on this. This is very important from developer perspective, right. So if we have a very clear, you know, procurement plan, when and how much of renewable energy the government or the utilities want to procure, that kind of gives confidence to the developers and the lead time and necessary for preparation. You know, especially in place like, you know, Bangladesh where the local players may not have technical or financial strength to, you know, go alone and build on these projects they need to go back and find international partners, tie with them and then plan for such opportunity opportunities. So these things take time and especially in the initial phases, you know, as then we also mentioned we are not that advanced stage in Bangladesh. So this is very important from a developer perspective. And secondly, you know, as much information we can provide to the market is always better and information such as the resource data on solar and wind, site-specific information on, you know, grid capacity, capacity, land acquisition, and as we mentioned, they are trying to facilitate these, you know, permissions and licensing. So all those things need to be provided up front. And then there has to be a very conscious analysis of how the risks are being balanced with the private sector, right. So we shouldn't be putting too much risk on the private sector and in Bangladesh context most of these risk is related to, you know, land availability, grid availability and and the financing side. So if we are able to kind of cover these three major points or government is somehow able to provide, you know, more support on this we will see many more projects taking off and and Tanvir did say that now they are taking a cue from India where they are trying to develop sites as plug and play which is a model which has been very successful in many countries including India. So that's good. So these are some of, you know, the major points that we need to be careful about and also the evaluation criteria that we set in the RFP that needs to be elaborated very clearly to the market and that needs to be clear. You know, during the initial phase it's important that we pay a lot of attention to technical qualification of the developers so that, you know, to start with, we get a few very successful projects and I saw some questions from the audience on those aspects. So I will take up that questions as well. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. So we are going down the second round. So time is limited. So we have about 10 minutes to close. So I will go again to ask a question of a member. So please try to give as short as possible, by two minutes. So going back to Shayan again. So as we know about USAID's ongoing and upcoming projects but also it would be helpful to keep Shayan tell us how USAID can support Bangladesh in transitioning to renewable energy. So it would be helpful if you could explain within two minutes. Sure thank you. I think it will not be something that USAID is going to do for the first time. I mean we we have been working in the clean energy sector in Bangladesh for about two decades now in Bangladesh. So we will be continuing to do our support to the transition of renewable transition of Bangladesh to renewable energy. And I would just like to reiterate the two new programs that we will be launching very soon and those two programs will primarily be our vehicles to support the energy transition for Bangladesh. And I also would like to underscore the recent visit of the Special Presidential Envoy for Climate Secretary John Kerry who was in Bangladesh just a couple of days back and he met with the Prime Minister of Bangladesh and other top officials in the government of Bangladesh and his visit in to Dhaka actually brings a lot of significance in terms of the policy aspects and in terms of the U.S. government's intention to take a bigger part in this whole climate change regime. With the current U.S. administration, we clearly see have seen a renewed interest for climate change adaptation and mitigation and I think it is actually one of the most perfect time in terms of contributing to clean energy issues in Bangladesh. Special Presidential Envoy carries conversation actually focused on how U.S., the United States, Bangladesh, and other climate vulnerable countries in the region can work more closely to advance to both climate resilience and adaptation and also raise ambition for mitigation action. So both mitigation and adaptation and as far as taking it down up to the run-up to COP26 in Glasgow. So this is something that is very near and dear to the U.S. Government's current programming and Secretary Kerry also highlighted and announced the launch of USAID's multilateral 70 million, a project called the BADGE activity which will be coming online very soon. So it also shows how the U.S. Government is actually very serious about contributing in this sector moving forward in the next several years. Thank you so much, Shayan. Thank you so much and as I mentioned in the U.S. government stand for this climate change and renewable development is significant. Thank you so much. So now question to Tanvir, like Tanvir already mentioned it about the wind power project development guidelines. It is already drafted and we have learned the land acquisition is the main challenges. So just wanted to ask simply the recent adopted wind project guidelines documents talks about land acquisition support. We have seen the draft. Is that a legal process that will pass project financing security or scrutiny? Thank you, Sir. Actually from the very beginning of the drafting of this document we are facing this question from different stakeholders but our comment is very clear. One thing is that we are not owner of the land so this is not a legal process. The guideline is not a legal document but what we are trying to mention here that, say I am giving an example that if you want to take an NRC from department of environment for any project. Say, it is a government's power project we have to take an NRC for the department environment and there is some procedure you have to follow, but they are not the owner of the land either. They are just giving you the NRC considering the environment aspects, right. So for wind energy we are considering that the wind resource is very limited for the government and SREDA as an authority is a neutral agency to make this sector as a coordinated sector. So that's why we are trying to maintain a way so that there will be no land issue or any land controversy, that this land is not usable for wind energy or this is not suitable for wind energy, or say we are going to Vola—that area is very much a salinity problem there. So these type of issues can be solved if the investors submit their documents to SREDA and SREDA has minimum technical capability to check this issue and just we had here to confirm that yes, they have followed every rules and regulations which are already established by Bangladesh government, nothing else. So we are not giving any pressure to the investors and I want to make it very clear that actually the purpose of the guideline is you can say that one of these land arrangement, second is data validity actually the everything is very much related to each other here in the panel. We have representative Mr. Aziz from IDCOL. So as a financial organization when any investors will go to them and ask for finance. What will be their risk assessment or what is—how they can be confident that yes, this project is very much visible. So this is actually— it should be teamwork and also we have to complement each other by this legal or supporting aspect. So for this data in resource assessment, we have suggested that what you can collect data, no problem. But you can validate from SREDA that rather this matches with the national database and also environment social aspect. There are very bad decision, a member of the IUCM So the policy Bangladesh have signed with world authority that should be also followed by every investors. So we will also look after the environmental social aspects there and another is financial de-risking. As I have already previously mentioned that if we can follow all of these issues, the financial risk will be very much low because the bank will be very much interested about this project and they will consider this as a bankable project. Yeah right. Thank you. Yeah it looks like initiative is it active to minimize this. This will help to minimize the gaps—the existing gaps. Tanvir thank you so much. So I am not giving too much time because we are in time constraint and also Mudavir has raised his hand. It would be helpful Mudavir, we will take your question after like two three minutes later. Just we'll go the second round and come back to Mudavir and for the audience please take your your question the chat box or after this discussion we can ask directly. We will try to answer in this question, answer session if we cannot manage by time, we will answer the question and circulate them to all the participants. So please wait a bit, Mudavir and so I'm going to Hassan so what it calls experience on large scale renewable energy project funding. So specifically what is the largest renewable energy project you provided financing for in last two years? It would be helpful Hassan if you answer by one minutes or one and a half minutes please. Yes that is very short thing for me. We have financed the largest projects where finance still now is a 10.32 megawatt DC so eight megawatt AC capacity project that is implemented by the Sympa Solar in Tetulia and it came to COD on 24th of July 2019. So that is so far we have financed the largest one but in our pipeline we have a lot of projects and one of the project is as big as 100 megawatt. So that is the update from my side. Okay. Okay, thanks. Thanks, Hassan. So I think actually our scheduled time was like 11:40 for this panel discussion and then 15 minutes was the question and answer sessions. So we are already five minutes past because we have started 11:05. So I am not go the questions. Further question to Ritesh and Carishma. So it would be better to get more insights or more questions from audience. So if Mudavir if you are available so please go ahead with your questions and to whom you are wanted to also just want to mention the previous presenter, like Barbara is with us, Mark with us, so Carishma is already here. So any questions to any speaker or panelist you can ask. Thank you so much and then going to so if you are please tell us your question and to whom you are going to ask. Yeah we cannot hear you Mudavir. Could you please raise your hand again to unmute your microphone? Could you please raise your hand again? Yeah just raise your hand to identify you, by the technical person. Yes yeah. Go ahead, Mudavir. You are unmuted. Thank you, Alam. Yeah I do not have any specific question actually I want to thank the panelists as well as presenters and especially Shayan. That I think this is a great opportunity for me to be here otherwise I would really miss some important information in this morning. Yeah from my side, Shayan, I would like to say that I'm really excited for two reasons. One is one is that USAID is really coming up with a comprehensive approach for green energy transition in Bangladesh and secondly that I think the approaches that is being presented which are almost similar like we have that means we have also our common understanding that how to intervene in this sector. This allows me to actually invite you to actually join forces with us especially in this transitioning and the growing stage of Bangladesh. So that from the German technical cooperation and also from USAID we can multiply our resources and also have a coherent strategy for green energy transition in Bangladesh. Why we have actually we have like almost all the interventions that is being proposed from your side, we have current and upcoming programs between the policy and the regulatory advisory process and planning innovative technologies, private sector cooperation sector coupling like e-mobility skill development, agile grid integration, we have couple of new projects which are commissioning this year within a couple of months and then next year we'll also have some more projects coming in. So I would really like to invite Shayan. Let's have bilateral talk that how we can make it more concrete for the Government of Bangladesh. Thank you just a couple, sorry, just couple of a couple of points. Especially that I would like to request that if all these guidelines whether that can be also linked with the, for example, National Solar Energy Roadmap that is being prepared by SREDA and I would like to know that this potential that is being presented especially solar and wind 240 gigawatt and 150 gigawatt, what is the reference with it because I think this is one of the also common discourse, that what are the truly renewable energy potential? Thank you. Yeah, thank you. Thank you. Thank you is very good. So, Shayan could you please add something because it was collaboration. Sure, sure. And as Alam was mentioning there aren't many questions, those are comments and just to respond to the question—to the comments because we will be very happy to do a bilateral dialogue with GIZ and we actually have a plan to do such stakeholder consultation with many of our development partners. We did some with a few already but as I was mentioning the BADGE activity which is going to be our flagship activity for the next five years, that is all, that is currently in procurement stage and due to this procurement sensitivity, now we are holding ourselves into like going out and meet with development partners before we do the work plan. But once that is awarded the first three months we will be actually doing extensive consultation with like-minded partners as also many other private sector and government agencies. So thank you for your comments and we'll be very glad to touch base with you very soon. Yeah thank you Shayan. Thank you, so there are a lot of questions. So we will try to go all if we cannot manage by time. So as I mentioned it, we will answer the question and circulate them so all of the people you will get it the answer. So now there is a last question I want going to ask at the first because Tanvir is asked. So there is a lot question about there is a lot of ambiguity among investor on various aspect of a renewable energy project development? Why does not SREDA play as a one-stop shop for investors as a centralized information center, so Tanvir so if you have some—yeah. Yeah we are working on that you may know that there is a central database, instead of website you can find it there, and there we have made this database by differentiating every technology possible in Bangladesh. So you can find it there also solar and wind radiation data is also uploaded there. Even USAID site data is also applied there, the raw data so we are trying to develop this database in a more effective way. So that we are collecting site specific wind data within next two or three years that will be also reflected in the website and another thing is that I have also seen the questions of previous I can mention here in a short minute. So about the specific study power division is now doing some feasibility study in the sites where previously USAID have collected the data. So in the next RFP, this feasibility study will be provided to the investors which was lacking in the previous RFP that we could not provide any data to the investors. So this problem I think will be solved. Thank you. Okay. Okay. Thank you so much. So I'm going in a different question there are a lot of questions so it's really appreciated and glad to know that the interest for this sector to promotion of this renewable energy sector. So the question is now is related to tariff structure and solicited unsolicited things. So how to balance the tariff structure between unsolicited utility scale projects and solicited bidding based projects. Why the government should focus only on lowest tariff or the capability of the developer or investor to implement the project in scheduled time. In public bidding in Bangladesh, 7.49 cents is in the lowest tariff offered by a developer two years ago but still could not sign PPA. This is relation on government and something but still I want to know from Carishma if you could explain little bit about the solicited and solicited projects positive and negative sides very shortly, that would be good. Sure I was actually gonna punt to one of my other colleagues that have much more experience in on negotiating projects. So i don't know Mark and Barbara do you either of you want to take that? Barbara, do you want to go first? Actually we have limited time, so we want to close by 11:50 so yeah please go. Mark. So the question, could you repeat the question? I'm sorry with a limited time I think I did the wrong, even you can answer, everyone can answer. Like from NREL, so it would be good to answer by, if Fabian is there, I hope he is there so he was the one of the presenter. I'm not sure that's why I didn't ask, Fabian are you here? Let me see, go ahead Fabian. Okay so the question is how to balance the tariff structure between unsolicited utility scale projects and the solicited or bidding-based project, where government should focus only on lowest tariff or the capability of the developer or investor will implement the project in scheduled time. I think it's more appropriate to Fabian. I did missing the first time to choose the—yeah, so Fabian if you could answer. Thank you so much for the good question. I think this is actually a very relevant one, right. On the one hand we want to make sure that that projects are being built at very low costs on the other hand we want to make sure that they are a very high chance to be realized right and how do we do ensure that, in the one hand that is the pre-development of the site by the government but if it's basically unsolicited bids we want to make sure that the developer has done the work and can really prove that they can realize the project in sufficient time, right. So that's both basically making sure that sufficient studies has been undertaken beforehand, approval processes have been obtained, but also that the bidder, the developer has already quite some experience in developing projects before and has a good credit rating. And all of that would then ensure that basically after award even in case of (inaudible) a bit too much time is being passed between the award and the signing. And I think that's very very important because I mean, we've seen this the slide from Barbara, right, how much renewable prices has dropped in the last years unless they continue to drop, and if you award a project now which will be built only in four or five or six years, we would lose out on on the cost reduction potential. So we want to make sure that ideally usually afterwards the project's been built as fast as possible. Thank you. Okay thank you so much. So what I think we can have some more comments about that because there's two different ways to look at it: on one hand potentially you know what some countries have done start with the feed-in tariff and then you go to, you know, sort of project by project reward and then you go to a competitive to really drive down the prices. But I mean if you look at Germany's case like they started with very lucrative feed-in tariffs to really, you know, promote solar and it did a great job of it and then it was easier for them to pull that back and then see that this is it that it lowered themselves, because of the industry that had developed. So there's a way to do it and I mean it's not just about lowest cost since your markets are the same thing, it's about the experiences over. So when you do the competitive transition you can have criteria and weighting on different categories when you grade your your bids but first we need an active market. We need active participation in the market and that's where what Fabian was saying comes in. You need to provide a feasibility study. You need to, you know, provide sort of a bit of hand holding to these potential project developers to get it going. Okay yeah so I'll just say one one last thing on that. I just said one last thing on that because you're talking about balance, I agree with everything that Barbara and Fabian said. Now I would say that in the very first at the very beginning of this nascent market, you'd want to have a little bit more transparency to these bids. So I think the solicited bidding process is more important early on. You're ensuring competition. You're ensuring that you're going to be evaluating experience and price together and I think those projects will be more successful. So there's a higher degree of success with those expensive projects once you got more a number of projects and experience out there from the government's perspective. Maybe it's 10 projects or something like that. Then you're gonna I think you have a better chance of having an unsolicited project come in that could also be successful because you've got ten projects under your belt. You know what to look for as a power buyer. You've got information on price and experience and then you can take those unsolicited projects in more, with a more informed palette. So anyway that's my little adder to that. So yeah, thank you so much. So actually I need to close this session so I'll not take the more questions. Yeah but in the chat box still open so as I said we will answer the the questions and send to the all the participants. So we are going to close these sessions because we are only two minutes left but we can extend three four minutes additional for final closing remarks and thank you everybody. Thank you especially for the participants and your interests. So interesting and super happy and seeing your interest to know more about renewable energy promotion, energy security, the tariff structure—a lot of issues and the global perspective. So we try to cover and you bring up a lot of questions later in all issues, really appreciate it, really appreciate it. And thank you all for your patience and to stay with us again so we'll answer the whole questions and I'm going back to—I'm closing this panel discussion and question and sessions. And going back to Shayan Shafi, the Energy Lead in the USAID Bangladesh mission. Over to Shayan. Thank you. Thank you and I will not take more more than two minutes. I think from USAID, we believe that this is only the beginning. I think coming together is the first step which we did today and then the second step would be staying together. Oftentimes we missed that part. We may do great as a good first step but we missed the opportunity to stay together. So I will reiterate the the comment that Alam made about like staying together and talking with each other about the potential areas for collaboration, and then finally reinforce everyone's individual interventions by helping each other out, in terms of sharing of data and other sources that are shareable. So we will definitely try to do that as our next step. We will also work together to make sure that we succeed in making our beloved country Bangladesh transition into a more secure and cleaner energy transition. I think it is needless to say how important it is for a country like Bangladesh, which is so much vulnerable to the advanced effect of climate change to come together as a group, and help our country to advance to secure and cleaner environment overall. And we will leave that for our next generation, so that when they are still living and breathing in this world—in this part of the world—they still have something to look forward to. So with that I would again like to thank everyone for your enthusiastic participation today and as Alam was mentioning we will gather the questions together. I'll just spend one moment here and check with Ritesh, Carishma, and Daniel to make sure that we have captured all the questions. Just give me a note, a thumbs up saying yes. You have it. Great, thanks Carishma. So we'll put our heads together. We have a good team, we believe we have a good team and we'll put the responses together and share it with all the participants who joined today. And with that I would again like to close the session for today and looking forward to working with you all in the near future. Thank you very much.

Last updated: May 13, 2022

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